October exports down 8%, January-October exports up 9% to US$ 11 Billion

Business district in Colombo Sri Lanka

A general view of the business district in Colombo, Sri Lanka, September 10, 2020. Picture taken through a glass window. (Reuters / Dinuka Liyanawatte)

Sri Lanka’s merchandise export performance for the month of October contracted by 8.18 percent Year-on-Year (YoY), however, cumulative exports for the first 10 months of the year surpassed the earnings fetched in the corresponding period of 2021.

The month of October brought in US$ 1,094.8 million from merchandise exports which were led by gems & jewellery, and electrical & electronic components. Contributing to the YoY dip in revenue was due to lower income from apparel & textiles, tea, rubber-based products, coconut-based products, and seafood exports.

Export income from apparel & textiles decreased by 13.19 percent YoY to US$ 441.89 million in October while earnings from tea, which made up 11 percent of merchandise exports, slightly decreased by 0.76 percent YoY to US$ 108.7 million.

According to the Export Development Board (EDB), the contraction in the latter is due to reduced export of bulk tea. The reduced income from textile & apparel can be attributed to the lower demand stemming from major markets like the US and the European Union largely due to recession fears.

Rubber and rubber finished products decreased by 6.1 percent YoY to US$ 86.3 million with poor performance in exports of pneumatic & retreated rubber tyres & tubes. Similarly, revenue from spices and essential oils decreased by 18.95 percent YoY to US$ 36.39 million due to the poor performance in the export of cinnamon and pepper.

Earnings from seafood too dipped by 20 percent YoY to US$ 19.56 million, where except for crabs, earnings from other seafood types contracted significantly.

Observed to be moving towards a positive growth trajectory are earnings from electrical & electronics components, which grew by 20.53 percent YoY to US$ 46.26 million. Strong performance was seen in exports of insulated wires & cables and other electrical & electronic products.

Meanwhile, the cumulative merchandise export earnings for the January to October 2022 period increased by 9.33 percent to US$ 11.07 billion when compared with the performance achieved in the same period in 2021.

Apparel exports for the January- October 2022 period crossed the US$ 5 billion mark, up from 14 percent YoY. Tea exports for the period were down 4.5 percent YoY to US$ 1.04 billion.

The United States emerged as Sri Lanka’s largest export market followed by the United Kingdom and India. Out of the total US$ 11 billion, exports to the United States accounted for US$ 2.8 billion, up 14.4 percent YoY.

Meanwhile, the estimated value of services exports for the period of January- October 2022 was US$ 1.6 billion, up 2.6 percent YoY. The services exports estimated by the Export Development Board consists of ICT/BPM, construction, financial services and transport & logistics.

(Daily Mirror)